A day after the BJP accused the Congress of fielding a “sympathiser” of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Bihar elections, former AMU Students’ Union president Maskoor Usmani Friday said that the National Democratic Alliance [NDA] would be held responsible if his safety was compromised during the course of the elections.
On Friday, BJP Begusarai MP and Union minister of state Giriraj Singh took on the candidature of Usmani from the Jale seat in Darbhanga district and asked whether the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) supported the ideology of the Pakistan leader. Follow Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 LIVE updates here
In a letter to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Usmani referred to various television media reports and claimed that they were broadcast in an attempt to influence the election results. He also expressed fears of a possible attack in the future and asked the administration to treat the matter as a serious case.
मीडिया द्वारा फैलाये जा रहे झूठे ड्रामे के बाद अगर भविष्य में हमारी सुरक्षा को किसी भी तरह का खतरा होता है तो इसकी ज़िम्मेदार एनडीए सरकार होगी। लेटर के माध्यम से सरकार को अवगत करा दिया गया है। @officecmbihar @NitishKumar @PMOIndia @ANI pic.twitter.com/lJyWXUPRfO
— Maskoor Usmani (@MaskoorUsmani) October 17, 2020
“Since yesterday, several false and offensive reports are being run by various news channels in an attempt to target me and influence the upcoming elections. I shall file a defamation case against the media houses. But their reports have put my life in danger. My well-wishers fear that I may be targeted during the course of the elections,” he tweeted.
“If such a thing happens in the future, then the NDA will be held responsible. That’s why it is my earnest request that this matter is taken up seriously and that I be provided with adequate security,” he posted on the micro-blogging spot.
Usmani, who belongs to Darbhanga, was booked under sedition charges in 2019 by the Civil Lines Police Station, Aligarh, for allegedly raising anti-national slogans. The charges were dropped after the police found that Usmani was in Delhi at the time of the incident. In 2018, a controversy had arisen during Usmani’s term as head of the students’ union when a local BJP MP had demanded removal of Jinnah’s photo from the union office. The AMU had defended the photo, pointing out that Jinnah was the founder member of the University Court and granted life membership of its students’ union.
Besides his remarks on Usmani, Singh also reiterated the recent comments of another Union minister of state from Bihar, Nityanand Rai, a few days ago that the state would become “a shelter for terrorists” if the RJD was voted to power.
Talking to reporters at the BJP office in Patna, Singh said the Grand Alliance should explain its position on the candidature of Usmani. “Let us know if the Congress’s Jale candidate, Usmani, supports Jinnah? Will Sharjeel Imam (of Jehanabad origin, who is in jail on, among others, sedition charges), will be the Grand Alliance’s star campaigner?”
The Congress responded saying “it would not allow the BJP to digress from the core issue of development” and challenged the Centre to take action against Usmani if he was guilty.
Bihar Congress spokesperson Rajesh Rathore said, “We do not attach importance to someone who is foul-mouthed… Giriraj Singh has been keeping quiet for the last six months during the pandemic… Our candidate is not a convict and sedition charges against him were dropped. The BJP is in government at the Centre. It can expedite the case against our candidate (if it can).”
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